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About the Western History Association


The Western History Association was founded in 1961 by a group of professional and avocational historians bound by their belief in the American West as a place rich in history and deserving of further study.
"Its purpose shall be to promote the study of the North American West in its varied aspects and broadest sense," read the WHA's early constitution.
Today, the office of the Western History Association is located in one of many wests, just 150 miles south of the Arctic Circle in the History Department at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.  The association is composed of more than 1,500 active members with a common mission:

"The Western History Association strives to be a congenial home for the study and teaching of all aspects of North American Wests, frontiers, homelands and borderlands. Our mission is to cultivate the broadest appreciation of this diverse history."


To accomplish this mission, we

  • Enable collaborations among peoples, institutions and organizations, devoted to the study of western history.
  • Conduct an annual meeting  at which scholars and other professionals join students and laypeople to share their research, to exchange ideas, and to develop programs that facilitate further study of the north American west
  • Publish a journal that employs rigorous peer reviews to identify, improve and distribute original scholarship


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Photo courtesy of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Rasmussen Library.

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